BWA Regional Business Achiever

Congratulating the five winners, she added, "being a finalist is a wonderful honour and achievement – and while we may have only one winner in each category, each of you have impressed us with your passion, knowledge and skills.Your focus and perseverance to achieve success despite the various challenges you may have faced is to be lauded." read more...

Integrity And Work Ethic Secret To Success

Nishi Singh

"I think that is the most important lesson I learned," says the winner of this year's Business Women Award in the Entrepreneur category, who is owner and manager of Bhejane Security.

F0R a young girl growing up in Durban, Nishi Singh was always in awe of how hard her father worked. As a successful insurance broker he dealt with client demands and difficult situations with composure, integrity and an extraordinary work ethic.
"I think that is the most important lesson I learned," says the winner of this year's Business Women Award in the Entrepreneur category, who is owner and manager of Bhejane Security.
"To have a high work ethic, to be uncompromising in your integrity and always to be true to yourself.And faith – I have always made sure that everything I have done is to the glory of God, and that faith has kept me grounded.The God factor is the anchor that holds all I am and do, together. Having a supportive, secure husband who applauds and supports all my achievements has been instrumental in whatever measure of success I have attained thus far". It was in 2005 that Singh, a qualified teacher, decided that she needed something more challenging. "I enjoyed teaching (high school English and Afrikaans) but I left in 2000 because of teacher redeployment. I went into insurance because I knew it from my dad, but I did not find it challenging enough.
"So when this business came up for sale, I went into it very carefully – I did proper due diligences because it was a completely new field to me – and decided to buy it." In addition to her BPaed Arts degree, with a HR diploma under her belt and midway through her MBA, she equipped herself for what lay ahead.
Singh was expecting challenges in this new line of business, but did not expect exactly the kind of challenges she got: "If ever you are going to get all round business experience, a crash course in absolutely everything, then the security industry is the way to go."
Her first challenge was to get the maledominated world of security to accept her on her own terms.
"There are a lot of stereotypes in this industry, and it is completely maledominated. At my very first client meeting, I was the only woman there. I had a choice – I could either 'man up' and become aggressive, or I could just be myself and persuade people to accept me on my own terms.
"Even though I have had to learn to be more assertive, I think I can ascribe my success to the fact that I strive to deliver what the client wants. In the beginning I had to learn very quickly, especially how to handle mistakes, for instance, if a guard is not at his station.The answer is not to cover up or make excuses, but make every effort to rectify.So we say, yes, we've dropped the baton, now we need to make sure we fix it. "The security industry is very stressful. The guards put their lives on the line, literally, and when I go to bed at night I think – here I am, going to sleep like any normal person while they are only starting their day's work "It was great to accept the award, but I can't really take all the credit myself.You are only as good as your support base, and I have made sure that my employees are looked after.
"When I first took over the business I was quite surprised to learn just how many people had been with the company for a long time - since its inception, in fact. Because of the contract-based nature of the security industry, this is unusual. I decided that we needed to honour and protect these employees, as they are rare, hence the long service awards day held last year.As a result, I have a great team."
Team work and empathy are what keeps Bhejane Security successful. "Security is a stressful job," says Nishi, "I am working with people who are literally in the line of fire.But I say to my staff, we do not compromise quality, so I give them the tools to get the job done.
This industry is labour-intensive and a strong work force ensures success. "I think the strength of my business is that I have taken the time to get to know my people. It is important that employees must feel that they are not just a number.While it is not possible to know them all personally, when I do visit sites, I must be able to put a name to a face, when I get a glowing report I must know exactly who is being praised ... this award really is a team effort, it is really for my staff and my clients.
"If I can look after them then I can sleep at night, because I know without a doubt that they are going to look after me."
As a woman striking a balance with work and family is never easy, but Nishi manages quality time with her husband and two daughters, Kiara and Caitlin, as she quipped: "I am passionate about family and simply enjoy time together."
Singh also acknowleges the spiritual principles that guide her daily decisions, taught to her by her spiritual mentor Dr Basil Tryon.

Why Bhejane?

  • Proudly South African
  • 100% Black Woman Owned
  • Level 1 BEE accredited
  • 100% committed to client service
  • 100% industry compliant
  • Established in the industry for over 17 years
  • Have capacity and experience for major contracts

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